Why is Fox News promoting J.D. Vance over other Ohio Republicans? Plus, defining 'classic horror.'

By Gary Abernathy

Why is Fox News so enamored with J.D. Vance?

The first week that J.D. Vance announced his candidacy for U.S. senator from Ohio, it made sense that the national media paid attention and featured him in some interviews. He is a best-selling author and, as I’ve said before, I agree that he has an interesting back story.

But after the first few days, it’s baffling why some, especially Fox News, continue to highlight him. Tucker Carlson seems to regularly champion him. And for some reason, Vance was featured again on Fox & Friends Monday morning. To be clear, this is someone who is polling third among Ohio Republicans behind candidates Josh Mandel and Jane Timken.

Some in the national media seem to think Vance is better known and more popular than he is. But as others have noted, Vance is not exactly a household name, which doesn’t happen because you write one book, even if it’s a bestseller. “Hillbilly Elegy” doesn’t make him Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway or Mark Twain. His name identification is not particularly strong. So why is Fox featuring him so much? Are they inviting Mandel and Timken on too? Not that I’ve noticed.

By the way, over the weekend Salon did a lengthy profile of Ohio’s senate race by staff writer Igor Derysh. I have some comments in the story. Derysh focuses on how the candidates are trying to outdo each other in demonstrating how pro-Trump they are, which is true. But in the Ohio GOP primary, it’s also the winning strategy. Vance’s problem is how often he was on the record in 2016 with anti-Trump comments which, frankly, he is unlikely to overcome — unless Fox is making it their mission for some reason to assist his campaign.

Remember, ‘classic horror’ films are from the ‘30s and ‘40s

I came across a news item — or, to be more precise, it probably came across me in some news feed aimed my way — about a new “haunted house” restaurant opening in Cleveland. Called “The Haunted House Restaurant” — to the point, good — the WLWT story I read quoted partner Andrew Scott as saying, “From the moment people come through the doors, we’re paying homage to the classic horror and thriller movies.” The story described these “classics” as featuring “characters from popular movies or shows such as ‘Ghostbusters,’ Pennywise, Jason from ‘Friday the 13th,’ Cousin ‘It’ from ‘The Addams Family,’ and ‘Beetlejuice.’”

Hold your horses. Those movies and characters might be good, they might be popular, they might be iconic. But those are NOT classic horror or thriller movies. Classic horror movies were made in the 1930s and ‘40s, and feature characters like Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Invisible Man. Let’s be clear about that. And none of those characters were mentioned in the WLWT story.

Thankfully, my blood pressure returned somewhere to the neighborhood of normal when I found another story about the restaurant, from City Beat in Cleveland, that said the new eatery “celebrates iconic characters like Pennywise, Slimer and Frankenstein’s monster.” Ok, that’s better. We’re getting there — as long as they’re talking about Boris Karloff’s version of Frankenstein’s monster.

The City Beat story included a brief promotional video from the restaurant, so I watched it. Indeed, there was a brief shot of some artwork featuring Karloff’s monster. But that was it. Everything else that was shown was from newer films from the 1970s forward. Maybe they just didn’t show all the Dracula and Wolf Man homages.

Hey, they can make any kind of restaurant they want. But when stories refer to “classic horror” films, don’t show me stuff from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s etc., no matter how good those movies might be. Many are quite good, but they’re not classic horror.

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